An Interview With Andy Roddick

Written by: on 10th July 2012
Andy Roddick
An Interview With Andy Roddick

epa03289612 Andy Roddick of the US celebrates a point against David Ferrer of Spain during their third round match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 30 June 2012. EPA/ANDY RAIN  |

An interview with:


TIM CURRY: Thanks, everyone for joining

us for the first of a few conference calls we will be

doing to promote the Emirates Airline US Open


We have Andy Roddick from

Winston-Salem, N.C., where he’ll be playing the

Winston-Salem Open, which is the final men’s

event of the series this year. Also Andy is the only

person to win the series multiple times. He’s a

two-time champion of the Emirates Airline US

Open Series.

We’ll ask Andy to give us a rundown of his

schedule this summer.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, starting next

week I’m starting a series event in Atlanta, heading

to London, coming back and playing Toronto,

Cincinnati, the event here in Winston-Salem in the

lead-up to the US Open.

TIM CURRY: We’ll now open it up to

questions for Andy Roddick.

Q. I’m based in Atlanta. I know that

you have been here in Atlanta for this

tournament in the past. With the Olympics so

close ahead, how will that affect how you

prepare and how you go through the Atlanta

tournament this year?

ANDY RODDICK: I don’t think it changes

anything. My mentality is you play what is in front

of you, regardless of what else is going to happen.

If I play great in Atlanta, that can only help

me going into the Olympics. It doesn’t change my

mindset going into the Atlanta tournament at all.

Like I always try to do, I’ll be there a

hundred percent.

Q. Any consideration at all to giving

yourself a break before the Olympics?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you consider all

your options. At the end of the day, I felt like it was

beneficial for me to come home after Wimbledon,

to get into some of the heat in Atlanta, match

conditions, to kind of have that preparation going in

I thought was the best-case scenario for me.

Q. What did you think of Serena’s

comeback win at Wimbledon?

ANDY RODDICK: You know what, I don’t

know that I was surprised by it. She’s proven

herself to be a great champion. She’s almost

become a master of comebacks. I remember

when, what, four or five years ago, she was below

100 in the world, people were wondering if that

was it. She came back and dominated.

After these injuries, I honestly thought she

would win it in her first tournament back after the

injury. So I always have the most confidence in

Serena and was happy to see her back where she

belongs: in the winner’s circle there.

Q. What are your thoughts on Venus

Williams battling through an autoimmune

disease to win the doubles with her sister?

ANDY RODDICK: What she’s been going

through is not easy. I think probably the toughest

part of it for her is not knowing on a day-to-day

basis. If you have a sprained ankle you have a

rough estimate of time as to how long it’s going to

take before you’re okay. I don’t think it’s that

simple with what she’s dealing with.

For her to have a highlight in the middle of

this rough patch is real big for her. Whenever

Venus decides to play, I think they’re automatically

the best team in the world.

Q. What have you observed about

Venus’ efforts to keep playing despite the

diagnosis? Any changes she’s made in


ANDY RODDICK: That would require

firsthand knowledge as to what she’s been doing

as far as training, which I don’t have. I haven’t

seen too much of it.

The thing I know about Venus is she’s

going to give herself every opportunity to succeed,

regardless of what’s in the way.

Q. What is the status on who Serena

might choose for mixed doubles at


ANDY RODDICK: I don’t know. You’re

asking the wrong person.

Q. You’re not in the running?

ANDY RODDICK: I don’t know.

Q. Have to ask Serena?

ANDY RODDICK: I think so.

Q. You’re going to pair up with John

Isner. Will you be practicing with him some?

ANDY RODDICK: I’m not sure. I think our

best preparation for singles or doubles is to try to

win some matches in Atlanta. I think that’s our

focus right now.

Q. How would you describe the state of

U.S. men’s tennis right now and what do you

think it’s going to take for one of you to step up

and challenge the big three?

ANDY RODDICK: I think it’s healthy. We

had two in the top 10 last year. Certainly was good

with Brian Baker and Isner playing well earlier this


The question is always a tough one for me

to answer because we deal in the context of a

worldwide talent pool, which isn’t the case with a

lot of sports that the U.S. focuses on.

It’s going to take some great tennis to

crack those top three. They’re three of the best

we’ve ever seen, and they’re certainly playing to it

right now.

Q. Would a good showing in the

Olympics by the U.S. do anything to improve

the game?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, it depends what

you mean by ‘improve the game.’ As far as

viewership, USTA memberships, sales of products,

tennis is very, very healthy. It’s as healthy as it’s

been for a long time.

But I think success at any pro tournament

will obviously garner more attention. Obviously,

the Olympics, you don’t have to be a tennis fan to

pick a side in the Olympics.

I think we’re all very motivated and it

should be a lot of fun.

Q. Andy, you were real close to getting

past David Ferrer at Wimbledon. I’m curious to

get your take on your play there. What

percentage of your potential would you say

you’re playing at now? Did you take anything

away from that Wimbledon performance?

ANDY RODDICK: I was a lot better. I won

an ATP Tour event the week before, which I

thought I was real far away from that going into

that week. I wasn’t playing well at all. I played well

at Wimbledon. I lost the match to Ferrer. But he

also had a look at beating Murray and getting up

two sets there, potentially making a final.

I’m not far off. I felt like I made a lot of

strides in those two tournaments, Eastbourne

before, and at Wimbledon. I’m optimistic about the


Q. If there are strides you have to

make, would you say they’re for you at this

point, feeling 100% fresh, healthy, invigorated?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think my

challenge for the last year and a half has been a

lot physical. But I finally got continuous matches

in. When you’re battling injuries, not playing your

best, sometimes you lose, you’re getting one

match a week. It’s kind of tough to create a groove

or a flow.

I got those matches in. I’m playing a lot of

tennis this summer. I’ll certainly have every

opportunity to get match play.

Q. Could you help me understand why

Nick Bollettieri is not going to be in the Hall of

Fame this week?

ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I don’t know. I

don’t have a vote. It’s a different thing because

normally you look at a Davis Cup coach or a

player. Nick, he’s been a wonderful businessman.

He’s certainly created a little bit of a model that

tennis has followed. He was one of the pioneers of

kind of the academy movement.

You know, I’m not sure. You’d have to ask

someone with a vote.

Q. Speaking of the Hall of Fame this

weekend, Jennifer Capriati is being inducted.

Can you give your thoughts on Jennifer and

her career, particularly at the Olympics?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I remember that

run she had in Barcelona.

I like seeing Jennifer getting the attention

she deserves for her tennis. You know, we lived

through so many story lines with her throughout

her career, I’m glad that tennis is finally getting the

credit it deserves. She was the No. 1 player, won

multiple slams. She was a huge infusion for the

game as far as garnering crossover attention. The

everyday Joe knew Jennifer Capriati. She was the

phenom, then the comeback. It’s a great story,

and something that I’m glad it’s getting recognized.

Q. The average age at Wimbledon was

close to 30. Do you think that’s good for the


ANDY RODDICK: The thing about sports

is there’s no script. Bottom line, the reason I think

it’s the best entertainment is because if you can

play, you have a job, regardless of age or anything


I think the reason why we’re seeing less

young kids is because the game has slowed down,

has become a lot more physical. When I came out

when I was 18, I was 25 pounds lighter and

certainly not fully grown up yet, but I was still able

to play.

The physical nature of the game now I

think makes it tougher for the younger kids.

Q. As you’re nearing your 30th

birthday, I’m wondering if you have made a

change in how you train. There’s a new

philosophy. Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, seem to

be practicing, spending more time in the gym,

less time on the practice court.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think that’s

pretty normal nowadays in tennis actually. I

remember talking to Jimmy Connors when we

were working together. He had never lifted a

weight in his entire career. Again, it speaks to the

physical nature of tennis, the way that’s kind of


You don’t see guys that aren’t quick

playing well now. You have to be a good athlete

as well. You used to be able to get away with

being a good ball-striker, being able to hit shots.

Now you have to be able to do that and get there.

That’s not surprising. I think something as you get

older is probably normal.

Q. What are your own personal goals

now in tennis? What’s the next step for you?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, I think it started in

Eastbourne. I had a very simple goal going into

Eastbourne after the French Open. I wanted to get

to 600 wins, which was a nice milestone. I wanted

to win the tournament. Was able to handle that

there. And also I just wanted to feel good on the

tennis court again. I wanted to feel like I was

playing well. I did that. Now I’m excited about

continuing that momentum into the summer and

see if we can’t make something happen.

Q. Andy, I wanted to ask you about

your motivation for the smaller tournaments.

How do you avoid overlooking these and not

looking ahead? The fan base here is a little

more favorable than some of the venues you’ve

been at internationally, but it will be very hot

here in Atlanta. Is it more mental, particularly

with the heat and conditions?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, I enjoy playing

tennis anytime I step on the court. Motivation

hasn’t been a problem of mine. As for the heat, I

spent the majority of my life in Florida and Texas.

I’m used to it. As far as heat goes, when I’m on

court, I only have to be more comfortable than one

person. I try to look at it that way.

Q. It’s a very urban fan base with a city

line backdrop and a highly commercial venue

here in Atlanta. Do these urban events make

the game better?

ANDY RODDICK: You know, it’s tough for

me to speak to the venue because I haven’t seen it

or played it yet. I’m certainly excited about it.

From what I’ve read, certainly not the norm for a

tournament to be in the main city district. It’s

usually out a little ways.

I’m excited to play it. I think it will bring an

energy to the venue. I think it’s something that’s

worth trying.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about your

mentoring of younger players. You have quite

a reputation for having younger American

juniors come in and hit with you and train in

Austin. I wonder how you feel about that group

coming up and why you’ve chosen to do that.

ANDY RODDICK: I enjoy it. I feel like I

have something to offer the young guys. Most of

what they will see ahead of them I’ve seen. It’s not

so much to force my way into their tennis lives or

anything else. You know, if they want to come and

they want to do the work, they want to work hard,

that’s the only thing I need them to say.

There’s certainly an open-door policy. I

feel like most of the young guys know that. Some

have taken me up on it to different degrees.

I enjoy it. I feel like being a part of U.S.

tennis has given me so many opportunities, has

given me a great life. I feel like I should pay it


Q. I had a question about the US Open

and the crowds. What do you most enjoy

about the atmosphere here?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know, New

York, I feel like it’s a great fan base. They’re going

to give you whatever you give them. They

certainly appreciate hustle. They like a bit of a

show. You give them some energy, they’re going

to give it right back to you.

I feel like it’s a pretty clear-cut understood

relationship, at least from my perspective. It

doesn’t get a whole lot better as far as atmosphere

goes than a night session up there.

Q. Playing in Grand Slams, you play as

an individual. Playing in the Olympics and

Davis Cup you’re representing your country.

How can you compare the two?

ANDY RODDICK: You know what, it’s a

good question. It is a lot different. It took me

probably three or four years of playing Davis Cup

before I felt completely comfortable. It’s a totally

different dynamic. Normally when we’re out there,

like you said, it’s a pretty selfish existence, all

about us. It’s about my ranking, my team, my

tournament. That’s kind of the mentality of a tennis

player most weeks. Then you kind of flip a switch,

at Davis Cup is about the team, at the Olympics it’s

about the country.

It is a little bit different. I don’t know there’s

a perfected way to go about it. I think you have to

try to make the subtle little adjustments.

Q. Andy, I was wondering if you could

talk about going from the grass courts to the

hard courts then back to the grass courts,

which is unusual.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it is. But the

schedule and everything is always a little weird

during an Olympic year. But if you’re in London, I

think you have to play at the best venue in tennis,

and that has to be on grass at Wimbledon.

Selfishly it’s not stressing me out too much

because I played a lot of grass court tennis and I

enjoy it. Same for hard courts. Doesn’t take me a

lot of time to switch between the two. I’m looking

forward to it.

Q. Can you talk about what you drew

from the 2004 Athens games?

ANDY RODDICK: My memories are more

of the Olympics as an event. It was so much fun.

Mardy and I stayed in the dorms, took the buses to

the courts, had the full-on Olympic experiences.

My best memories are of him having a great

tournament there.

As far as the tennis goes, it’s the

Olympics, but I think you kind of go about it the

same as a tournament. You know the players, you

know the venue, you know the format. You’re

playing for something different. You’re playing for

your country.

But as far as preparation goes, I think it’s

pretty normal.

Q. Are you going to stay in the village

or your own accommodations?

ANDY RODDICK: I think our team is

staying closer to the courts just based on a

logistical and traffic issue. They estimated with

traffic it could be an hour and a half or two hours

out to the court. Three to four hours round trip is

not what you need on game day.

Q. Are you okay with that?

ANDY RODDICK: Even though I’m not

going to stay there, I hope to get over there and

walk around and try to meet some of the other

athletes, get a feel for it.

If we have an off day or some time

beforehand, I’d love to get over there and check it

all out.

Q. Any sports you want to check out

while you’re over there?

ANDY RODDICK: I would go to any

Olympic event. As I’ve said before, you don’t need

a vested interest or a complete knowledge of a

sport to kind of get into it. It’s a very simple thing.

You see the stars and stripes and you want to

cheer for that.

Yeah, hopefully I’ll be able to get out and

see some of it.

Q. Question regarding Larry Stefanki.

As a veteran player, how do you keep

improving your game and learning new

techniques to stay at the top level of the game?

ANDY RODDICK: You know what, we’ve

been together for a while, but there are always

new challenges. The thing about our sport is

there’s always something else in front of you.

As far as keeping it fresh, I think the game

itself does that. And we’re in a good spot now.

We feel like we made a lot of good strides those

last couple of weeks out there, certainly the best of

the year so far. It’s just a matter of remembering

what the last couple of events were and trying to

build on it for the summer.

I feel pretty confident about the way I

finished up there.

Q. It was brought up at Wimbledon that

Serena does not play practice sets or really

even practice points. I was curious what role

that plays in your training.

ANDY RODDICK: I play a lot of practice

sets and points. I think Serena and Venus have

always been pretty outside the box. They didn’t

play much junior tennis either. That works for


I credit them for going with what they feel

comfortable with. Regardless of what anyone else

might think of it, it’s certainly worked for them.

Q. Tennis has been very good to you

as far as how much you’ve earned over the

course of your career. What do you think

about the new move by the ATP Players

Council to get the tournaments to pay more out

to the players?

ANDY RODDICK: It’s just a matter of

comparing it to other sports. The NBA players

were upset because they had to come down from a

57% revenue share. I think the research at the US

Open, we were down at 13% of revenue went back

to the players. It just seems skewed in comparison

to some of the other sports. We certainly realize

how lucky we are, but I think we also realize that

we’re the product.

Q. I was interested in hearing what you

thought about your experience in Atlanta, in

Georgia in the past. What’s the difference

between playing a tournament in the U.S. as

opposed to playing tournaments abroad?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, it’s a comfort

thing. Obviously my connection to Red and Black

goes through my brother who was there and loved

his time, certainly holds Athens in a very special

place in his heart.

As far as playing in the States, everything

from being able to turn on the shows you watch

normally, to the food, being able to drive a car

because it’s not on the wrong side of the road. All

those little things play into it. I think it’s more of a

comfortable level for us.

Q. I don’t know the experience you

have with the University of Georgia from

having had your brother go there. Does Isner

ever talk to you about that? Did they have a

relationship at all?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I saw it during

NCAAs. When I was 18, 19, my brother was still

the assistant coach there. I certainly have

experienced it. I have some other really good

friends from there. I’m certainly familiar with the

vibe up there.

Q. Any expectations out of the

tournament this year? Mardy Fish and Isner

are going to be back.

ANDY RODDICK: Well, it’s a good field. I

think they’ve been in the last two finals. I’m one of

the guys who is trying to make sure it’s not three in

a row for those guys.

Q. How will it be difficult to participate

in the Rogers Cup straight after the Olympics

and how important is this tournament in your


ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it’s difficult.

Anytime you add a huge event like the Olympics to

an already crowded schedule, it creates


All the players are in the same boat. It’s

not like I’m the only person who is going to have to

go from the Olympics to Toronto. It will be a little

bit of a toughness test, which I think is fine.

I’ve enjoyed playing in Toronto. Gosh,

played a bunch of finals there. I’m real excited to

get back there.

TIM CURRY: Thank you very much for

calling in, everyone. Thanks, Andy.

ANDY RODDICK: Thank you.

Topics: , , , , ,

10sBalls Top Stories

In Case You Missed It



Tennis Canada announced on Wednesday that Eugenie Bouchard is the winner of the 2018 Excellence Awards in the Female Player of the Year and Singles Player of the Year categories.


Time to get tickets to watch! Surly you have heard about The Largest Open Tennis Event in America!


According to Uncle Toni, Rafael Nadal was supposed to be back at practice on either Dec. 4 or 5. Well, better late than never!
Conchita Martínez prepara la temporada 2019 de Karolina Pliskova en Tenerife thumbnail

Conchita Martínez prepara la temporada 2019 de Karolina Pliskova en Tenerife

Española y checa ya trabajaron juntas durante el pasado Open de Estados Unidos


Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia hits a forehand to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia during her second round match at the Nature Valley International tennis tournament in Eastbourne, Great Britain, on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.